Palace: 'Red October' ouster plot vs. Duterte will fail

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 24) — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday backed the claims of the country's armed forces that there is a destabilization plot against the administration. However, he said communist rebels and critics from the opposition won't succeed in overthrowing President Rodrigo Duterte.

He said the Armed Forces' claim linking the opposition — particularly the political party Liberal Party, Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Antonio Trillanes, and groups Tindig Pilipinas and Movement Against Tyranny — to the so-called ouster plot is based on intelligence information.

"We have no doubts the CPP-NPA has been out to overthrow the government since they were founded. We have no doubts there are power-hungry individuals in the opposition who would like to resort to extraconstitutional means to bring down the government of President Duterte. We have no doubts the Magdalo Group's addicted to coup d'etats," he said in a media briefing.

Roque said the ouster scheduled for October and dubbed "Red October" will not triumph. He added those looking to overthrow Duterte want the power for themselves.

"We are confident that we enjoy overwhelming support from the people. Therefore what these groups want to see — the ouster of President Duterte — will not happen. Maraming gahaman. Ang sagot lang namin: Dream on," he said.

The presidential spokesperson said proof that Duterte still enjoys the trust of the Filipinos is the result of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Sunday, which showed majority of Filipinos are satisfied with the government's campaign against illegal drugs.

He said, the fact that 8 out of 10 Filipinos are happy with the drug war, which has been highly criticized for its questionable implementation, proves Duterte cannot be easily ousted by the opposition.

"Wala naman silang suporta ng taumbayan as evidenced by the fact na ang pinaka-kontrobersyal na programa ng presidente, 8 out of 10 ang sumusuporta. When you won by the margin the president had in the elections, when you have this kind of support shown in the surveys, mahihirapan po silang patalsikin ang presidente," the spokesperson said.

Related: Filipinos still satisfied with Duterte admin's war on drugs - survey

The Armed Forces said they have documents to prove the communist rebels, political critics, and opposition groups are conspiring to remove Duterte from power.

"Base sa mga recovered documents, revelations and confessions ng mga sumuko sa atin na dating miyembro ng ng communist terrorist group, meron talagang plano na patalsikin ang Pangulong Duterte ngayong Oktubre," AFP Spokesperson Edgard Arevalo told CNN Philippines on Monday.

However, he said they are still in the process of validating the claims.

Arevalo said the various groups are conniving to create a "broad united front" and a "grand coalition." He said these groups are using the economic challenges the administration is facing, such as inflation, to create a "crisis-like situation."

He also alleged the CPP's armed component, New People's Army, is in the process of executing "Oplan Aklasan," which he claims targets the exploitation of indigenous peoples' issues and labor protests.

Duterte on September 12 said there's an alleged plot to sabotage and assasinate him. He said he has audio evidence that Sison, the Magdalo group, and other critics are in constant communication to plot his ouster. He added he will ask the "foreign country sympathetic to us" that gave him the information to declassify the intel.

Duterte also talked about a supposed ouster plot after his arrival from his Middle East trip early this month. But Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana said the ouster "rumors" are up for verification.

CPP leader Joma Sison has confirmed the communist group is determined to remove Duterte from power, but he denied conniving with Robredo, Trillanes, and groups from the opposition. He dared Duterte to release proof communist rebels are banding with the opposition to destabilize the government.

Movement Against Tyranny slammed the AFP for its unverified claims.

"The Movement Against Tyranny condemns their outlandish claims linking the legal political opposition to an armed conspiracy to oust Duterte," it said in a statement on Monday.

Tindig Pilipinas also dared the AFP to support its allegations.

"Nasaan ang inyong proof? Kung mag-aakusa kayo, ipakita niyo agad ang ebidensya," convenor Sylvia Claudio told CNN Philippines.